Tag Archives: shoulder impingement syndrome

What Causes Shoulder Bursitis?

Shoulder Bursitis

Most of the patients that I see who have Shoulder Bursitis have never heard of the condition until they are diagnosed with it!

Shoulder Bursitis is often caused by repetitive overhead movements that can cause compression of rotator cuff tendons and inflammation of the bursa that lies beneath the roof of the shoulder blade.

Shoulder Bursitis can develop quickly.

Bursitis symptoms include aching, swelling, and limited shoulder movement. Sometime discoloring of the injured area also occurs.

Bursitis can be caused by a bone spur. (A bone spur is calcium deposit in the rotator cuff.)

Torn, frayed, or irritated tendons can cause shoulder bursitis. If rotator cuff muscles weaken, they may fail to support the shoulder, making actions such as reaching overhead, swimming, throwing, and hair brushing difficult and painful.

Sometimes bursitis develops alongside other diseases such as arthritis or gout.

See the following links for further information about bursitis:


Shoulder Bursitis

Bursitis Treatment

Bursitis Surgery

Keyhole Shoulder Surgery

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What is The Shoulder Acromion?

The shoulder acromion is the tip of the shoulder. Between the arm and the neck is will a small lump or protrusion, this is the acromion. Basically the shoulder acromion part of the shoulder blade.

A normal acromion is flat and smooth. Shoulder problems can arise if the acromion is hooked. (The hook is like a small protrusion bending downwards into the subacromial space.) A hooked acromion is likely to cause shoulder impingement.

Good posture and shoulder exercise can reduce the likelihood of impingement.

For further information about the shoulder acromion and shoulder impingement please see the following articles:

Shoulder Acromion

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

The cause of shoulder impingement syndrome is the compression of the tendons of the rotator cuff.

This is between part of the shoulder blade and the head of the humerus.

This may lead to a weakening of the tendons of the rotator cuff, a situation that may result in a torn rotator cuff.

Shoulder Impingement Treatment

Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications and steroids are treatments for an impinged shoulder.

A simple series of stretching exercises and ice or heat may also give relief.

The use of an ice pack cools the inflammation down and conversely heat helps to warm up the muscles around the shoulder and get rid of some of the muscular tension.

A relatively inexpensive wrap for your shoulder can also do wonders.

If non-invasive treatments don’t work shoulder surgery may be required.

Shoulder Impingement Surgery

Subacromial decompression is the term used for surgery for shoulder impingement syndrome.

The surgical procedures used by doctors are designed to make more room for the tendons of the rotator cuff if shoulder surgery is necessary.

Acromioplasty is accomplished by removing bone spurs that the tendon rubs on in order to make more room for the tendon to glide normally.

A lubricating sack between the rotator cuff and the underside of the acromion that is inflamed by the impingement process is also removed.

Shoulder Pain and Overhead Throwing

If you suffer shoulder pain, please be cautious throwing overhead. Throwing overhead can further increase shoulder impingement syndrome, the most common cause of shoulder pain. Of course if you throw gently you are likely to be fine, but throw a heavy object hard and you may well aggravate that pre-existing shoulder problem.

When you are in the position of throwing, the rotator cuff gets squeezed under the acromion (the bony tip of the shoulder). This is why it can be susceptible to injury.

If you want to throw hard, then train your muscles by strengthening the rotator cuff. There is also a lot of technique involved in throwing, so learn how to throw properly by talking to a sports or athletics coach.

Seatbelts and Shoulder Pain

Seatbelts save lives, but sometimes they can also cause pain too. During a road traffic accident they can cause severe chest, shoulder and rib compression and lead to extensive bone bruising, and sometimes even fracture of the breast bone and ribs.

Repetitive regular driving can also bring in its own set of problems. The seatbelt can pull against the shoulder and cause muscle aching and fatigue. It sometimes can rub the tip of the shoulder causing pain. In people with shoulder impingement syndrome, this can be rather painful.

Another tip for you: if you have shoulder surgery, avoid driving for at least two weeks as the position of the arm on the steering wheel can put a lot of tension through the shoulder.

Please always wear a seatbelt, and make sure your passengers do the same.

More information:

Seatbelts and Shoulder Pain